Pop Music icons Yasir Akhtar and Fringe Benefits sue Nestle Basement Cafe!
In a Nestle Sponsored Marketing program ‘Nestle Basement Cafe’, a popular song titled ‘Pyar Dian Gallan’ originally created, composed, cinematographer, and performed by icons Yasir Akhtar (The Arid Zone), Fringe Benefits (Sheheryar Qureshi, Mohammad Ali) and rap by Yatagan (Fakhar e Alam), was aired in one of its sessions without any consent or assignment by all the artists.
The copied song to date is available on YouTube along with Yasir Akhtar, The Arid Zone, Fringe Benefits, Shehryar Qureshi, Mohammad Ali, Fakhar e Alam (Yatagan), and original art/music piece/product. Surprisingly, the Nestle Song does give the credit to the original artist in its YouTube version at the end of the song however when sued in the court of law for damages, Nestle’s legal team has been trying hard to make it a copyright issue to evade/delay the process of law, which to the good fortune of the original artists honorable court has turned down.
According to Yasir Akhtar, Nestle’s legal team used every trade in the book to delay the proceedings including a complete denial that they never received any notices of appeal at their registered address despite the fact that on copies of notices, existed the signature of their security staff and complete ignorance of newspaper advert calling their attention to court, which is the last of actions in substituted service.
After losing out in the court of sessions on an apparently designed absence to prolong the proceedings and an application to rehear thereafter, Nestle knocked on the doors of the high court on a plea for a fair trial in a writ petition that the court of sessions decided against them ex parte, got them an extra chance to present their argument in the court of sessions, however in the light of the judgment by honorable sessions court their argument seems unconvincing.
It is important to highlight that it has been approximately three years for Nestle to gain time over technicalities of the law rather than admitting the mistake to deprive artists of the share of their creativity, and use of their goodwill and reputation, without any returns.
In an era where the social responsibility of a corporate organism of their ilk is highly valued, with the latest turn of events, the chances for Nestle to escape the responsibility of its actions are growing slimmer.
Keeping fingers crossed the trial of this case will light the candle for so many junior rights whose creativity is usurped by the so-called big wigs of the industry.
Let the first drop of rainfall in due time.
Bravo to the trendsetters like Yasir Akhtar (The Arid Zone), Fringe Benefits (Sheheryar Qureshi and Mohammad Ali), and their legal team for a silent but legal and purposeful fight for your rights!